This is an outline of the topics discussed in the Graduate History and Style I course, 16-HILT-801:
The Roman Mass and Office and their chants:
- The function, form, and stylization of the proper chants.
- Theories of oral tradition and the Frankish invention of “Gregorian chant.”
- Tropes, sequences, liturgical drama, and historical theories of their origins.
Medieval music theory:
- The practical origins of modal theory with help from the Byzantine Church.
- Guido’s and Hermann’s digest of the eight ecclesiastical modes.
- Hexachords and solmization; the monochord and the “Guidonian” hand.
Early organum and the rise of the motet:
- Predecessors of Notre Dame organum.
- The organum and discant of Leonin and Perotin.
- The 13th-century motet and the conductus.
Notation and performance practice:
- The rise of neumes and the “central problem” of Gregorian chant.
- Rhythmic controversies in plainchant, troubadour lyric, and conductus.
- The rhythmic modes, their limitations, and Franco of Cologne’s improvements upon them.
The Ars Nova: The “isorhythmic” motet and the notation that supported it.
Cross-channel influences and the new euphony of the 15th century: John Dunstable and the contenance angloise.
The cyclic Mass: The Renaissance equivalent of the modern symphony?:
- From the earliest settings of the Ordinary to the cyclic Masses of Dufay and Ockeghem.
- The variety of cyclic procedures in the Masses of Josquin des Prez.
- The polyphonic Mass in the eras of Gombert, Taverner, and Palestrina.
The French chanson: From courtly miniature to popular part-song:
- The chanson from Machaut to Dufay.
- Popular and constructivist aspects of the chansons of Josquin des Prez; the chanson nouvelle in the era of burgeoning print culture.
Manifestations of humanism in the Latin motet and Italian madrigal:
- Humanism and its reverberations in the motets of Josquin des Prez.
- Humanist readings of the Italian madrigal in the era of Arcadelt, Willaert, and Rore.
- The madrigal in the era of the Concerto delle donne and the Musica Transalpina.
The Reformation and Counter-Reformation in music:
- What Luther hath wrought.
- The Catholic Counter-Reformation, the Council of Trent, and the Palestrina style.